Case in defence of our waterways investment
PUBLISHED: 13:30 20 April 2007 | UPDATED: 22:44 28 May 2010
WE find it very disappointing that the IWA Peterborough branch finds it necessary to concentrate on the condition of a short and almost unused section of waterway, while completely ignoring the multi-million pound investment in navigation that the Environ
WE find it very disappointing that the IWA Peterborough branch finds it necessary to concentrate on the condition of a short and almost unused section of waterway, while completely ignoring the multi-million pound investment in navigation that the Environment Agency has achieved in recent years.
Environment Agency-controlled navigations in the Anglian region have benefited from record levels of investment in recent years and our waterways are now in the best condition, safest and best provisioned, that they have ever been.
In August this year we will welcome boaters from across the network who are visiting the IWA National Waterway Festival, and visitors will find their route through the Nene and Ouse waterways a joy of rural tranquillity and quiet fenland landscapes.
Most of the old manually operated locks have now been electrified for ease of use, the operation of mitre doors have been improved and there are better visitor mooring facilities throughout the network than ever before.
Comments of the IWA Peterborough Branch give the misleading impression that the Horseway/ Welches Dam waterway is part of the main Nene-Ouse navigation link through the Middle Level.
It is not, and Festival visitors and other travelling boaters alike will find no problems on the main Nene-Ouse link, via the Kings Dyke- Whittlesey Dyke-Twenty Foot-Old Nene-Well Creek route. This route is used by about 1,000 boaters each year. We have completed an engineering assessment on the condition of Welches Dam lock, this indicates that the lock requires two new sets of gates and works to stabilise and repair the lock pen, which is showing significant signs of rotation and structural movement. This is a costly business and the minimum estimate for repairs is £660k.
We are now discussing with local boating interests funding for this work and what priority should be afforded to these repairs, given that even with a fully operational lock, only a handful of craft will be able use this route.
Anglian Waterways manager